Article by Sai Gopalan

Hey pumpster’s (hope that becomes a thing), so I have a confession to make. I haven’t been in Xi’an for nearly two months, with time spent in Chengdu and then a holiday back in South Africa. Well, that’s not the confession; the thing is, I have put on an appalling six kilos (approximately 13.2 lbs). Most of that I blame on my mum and her amazing cooking. But not all is lost because with rapid weight gain also comes the opportunity of weight and body transformation and I am so excited for the challenge to get back into shape.
However, being home wasn’t all about devouring all those delicious goodies. I also stumbled onto an eating craze that not only helps you drop those pounds, but also has amazing health benefits. It’s called the Banting diet and has taken South Africa by storm. Developed by Dr. Tim Noakes, the diet follows the notion of cutting out almost all carbs and replacing it with fats and proteins, with the premise of eating until you’re full rather than counting calories. Now if this sounds familiar, you’re not wrong; it does follow the mantra of the Paleo Diet.
Weirdly enough, it was my mum who told me about this diet. She tried it and lost weight in no time, in addition to feeling a dramatic improvement in her overall health. There are many testimonials that have detailed how this diet has helped with cardiovascular diseases, cure diabetes and boost overall health and energy. This diet is so popular right now in South Africa that you can see books about it everywhere. There are even Banting-style dishes in restaurants! If all of this sounds like a lot, don’t worry—I have done some of my own research and summarized the most important points of the diet for beginners.


How to do it the Banting way

animal-protein-as-a-carcinogenAnimal Protein

• Eggs (all types)
• Beef, poultry & game
(grass-fed & free-range)
• Natural cured meats
& sausages (parma ham,
chorizo, salami)
• Seafood
This is great news for us in Xi’an
as these are very as these are very
common everywhere.
Remember: choose boiled,
grilled or steamed whenever possible.


assortment of dairy products isolated on white background

Dairy (organic)

• Milk (full cream)
• Yogurt
• Cheeses
• Cream
I would recommend having yogurt as a snack in between meals (go for low sugar) and milk in the morning and after gym.
(Note: if you are lactose intolerant it is best to limit your intake of any dairy product)



• Avocado • Animal fats • Butter & cheese (organic)
• Coconut oil • Duck fat • Ghee • Lard
• Macadamia oil • Olive oil
Not all of these are easy to find in Xi’an. However, Taobao makes things easier and they are certainly worth it, as they can last a while.


Nuts & Seeds

• Almonds • Macadamia nuts • Pecan nuts
• Pine nuts • Pumpkin seeds • Sunflower seeds • Walnuts
These handy snacks are easy to find in most supermarkets. I like to munch on these throughout the day. Not only does it help to keep you fuller for longer, these handy snacks also help boost your metabolism and aid in fat usage. So don’t underestimate these little guys!



Green Leafy Veggies Are a Favourite On the Banting Food List
• Green leafy vegetables (including spinach, cabbage, lettuce etc)
• Asparagus
• Aubergines
• Avocados
• Broccoli
• Brussels sprouts
• Cabbage
• Cauliflower
• Celery
• Leeks
• Mushrooms
• Olives
• Onions
• Peppers
• Pumpkin
• Spring onions
• Tomatoes
• Generally any vegetable
that is grown above the ground
(so, not potatoes)


This is just a short description of what the Banting diet is about. I’m not an expert in this diet so I strongly recommend you guys do more research into it. There’s plenty of stuff on the net that is free and readily available, including downloadable plans. But try to include some of these tips and food into your diet and let the food do the work for you.
As long as you eat the right types of fats (mostly animal fats) and minimal carbs (avoid anything with a carb content of more than 5g per 100g; sugary food is a no-no) then you can eat until you’re full. However, use your common sense, and don’t overeat! With meat, stick to no more than 80g with any meal.
So, pumpsters, try it out for yourself and let the results speak for themselves. I saw the difference it made for my mom and the rest of South Africa. Join the revolution and start making the changes today. Remember, we don’t only want to change our bodies we want to change our lifestyles!